Daily fantasy sports and online betting sites are two different forms of gambling that are sometimes confused as the same due to their similarities. They are similar because college or professional sports are included in the two.
However, they are very distinct from each other in terms of legality and even in the literal gambling sense.
In this write-up, we shall be discussing the difference between these two forms of entertainment.
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Game Of Chance Vs Game Of Skill
The main difference between sports betting and fantasy sports all boils down to one being a game of chance and the other a game of skill. For years now, several companies have requested and campaigned that daily fantasy sports (DFS) be classified as a game of skill.
In fact, many believe that it should be on the same level or close to skill-based games like chess, spelling bees, and bowling leagues instead of being classified as gambling.
However, the issue is one cannot blame them as DFS is actually a game of skill. Managers who have won the DFS league do so only after considering a series of data, facts, and game theories that make them more competitive.
Moreover, it goes beyond simply knowing about statistics and depth charts, rather, the manager must also consider other factors such as:
- Coaching styles
- Weather patterns
- Home and away data and advantages, etc.
But then, despite being armed with the knowledge of the above-mentioned, daily fantasy sports is not completely based on tactics. It also integrates a little bit of luck.
While it is possible to increase your chances of winning, you cannot outrightly determine the result of a game.
Thus, luck is involved in one way or the other. The only thing is that skill makes much more difference when playing DFS in comparison to sports betting.
DFS Is Not Considered Gambling By State And Federal Laws
Due to the fact that only a select few states have passed bills banning DFS, we can then conclude that it is not gambling. This is because a game could only be considered gambling if it is determined that more luck than skill is needed to play.
For instance, in the USA, while the decision of DFS being a contest of skill is up to the different states, several of them have passed laws in support of the game. And for the other states that are yet to deem DFS a legal game of skill, numerous attorneys are arguing in its support.
Thus, so far, no state has made a law that makes fantasy sports illegal, unlike sports betting.
In a bill passed by Congress sometime in 2006, transactions from banks and other financial institutions to online gambling platforms were prohibited and deemed illegal. This act was passed in The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006.
However, this act leaves out, in particular fantasy sports, educational contests, and other contests whose outcome relies on the reflective knowledge of the players. Or in the case of a simulation sports game, it “has an outcome that is determined predominantly by accumulated statistical results of sporting events, including any non-participant’s individual performances in such sporting events”.
These state laws thus reflect the decision of the Federal government. And this in turn reflects that fantasy sports have the structure of a skill-based game and are thus not classified as gambling.
In some ways, sports betting and fantasy sports are similar, and they also differ in some other ways. However, this does not mean they both can’t coexist within the same state. Thus, if you live in a state that allows both, you can always try them both out and see the difference for yourself.